Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420s 14in Core i5 laptop
Suits more than suits
Review I have always been a fan of ThinkPads, ever since my father brought home a beaten 560e featuring a 150MHz Pentium which was rejected from the corporate pool due to travel abuse. Even though half of its 1GB disk was bad sectors I ran it well into this century and with all the cheap tat that is flooding the market these days, I've not used anything that felt quite the same.
Business values with a consumer style: Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E420s
Now though, I have my hands on the Lenovo-built ThinkPad Edge 420s which seems to hark back to the good old days of the IBM ThinkPad era. There are no gimmicky features to be found here, except perhaps the fingerprint reader. The TrackPoint ‘nipple’ is a comforting sight, yet now somewhat redundant with the multi-touch trackpad also fitted to the E420s.
Although this arrangement are effectively provides two mice, fortunately Lenovo hasn't tried to cram in a second keyboard. Instead, it has produced a very comfortable keyboard with ample-sized keys and great tactile response which, although it isn't backlit, does feature a keyboard light mounted above the screen.
The shell has a matte soft-touch finish and features actual chromed metal edge trim – a flourish to broaden its appeal beyond the boardroom. Indeed, the E420s certainly maintains the impression of quality that is associated with the brand. Even the sound is better than most, listenable rather than tinny and supporting Dolby Home Theatre.
Core i3 and i7 versions also available
The unit I have here is the almost-top-spec model equipped with an Intel 2.3GHz Core i5-2410M CPU, 4GB 1333MHz DDR3, 2GB ATI Radeon HD 6630M and 320GB 7200RPM Seagate HDD. All of this kit will set you back around £900 if the current sale on Lenovo's on-line store continues .
Next page: Core values
Even the "businessy" models have started this slide to the mass market, cheap-as-chips 16:9 low-res panels. Does nobody realise just how badly they murder productivity? Or do people just watch films on the train these days?
2GB of dedicated graphics memory and a 1366x768 screen? It's like a match made in hea.... no, wait a second...
Vertical resolution is so important
My (work) ThinkPad T61 is 1440x900. It's the smallest number of vertical pixels I think is even slightly useful. I'd much rather have a 4x3 screen, especially since the advent of widescreen seems to have coincided with software using up more and more vertical space. If you use Google Docs within Firefox (pre v4 or on XP) or IE, a huge amount of your vertical space is taken up with toolbars, menus, bookmarks and the like. And the new Office ribbon isn't much better. Saving vertical space was the chief reason why I switched to Chrome for browsing.
Widescreen is completely inappropriate for most working purposes. I couldn't care less about watching movies on my laptop. I have a television for that.
I don't see it getting much better though.
Too Short; Too Fat
It would be a kindness to remind your readers that 768 vertical pixels are VASTLY inadequate for any serious use. Even browsing is a pain and 768 pixels are insufficient for any serious word processing and many spreadsheets. The only reason for that crazy screen shape comes in two letters: DV, followed by a repeated D.
My T400s is better, 1440x900, but still insufficiently tall and at the price of teeny, tiny type. Anyone who actually works on a portable needs 4x3 or even a square screen, with as much vertical real estate as possible.
So, please remind your readers that 768 pixels are not enough, unless the laptop is meant only for email and DVDs.
Suits more than suits...
I'd say with only 768 vertical pixels on that widescreen setup, it won't suit the suits that do anything more that powerpoint presentations. Widescreens that small are only fit for watching movies on a plane.
The world is vertical, webpages scroll vertically, emails scroll vertically, why would anyone choose to view the world through the IT equivalent of a Panzer's port hole?
Mine's the one with the "Campaign for 4:3 laptops" pin on the lapel.
@ AC 08:16
Surely you mean the noun "pedant", not the adjective "pedantic"...
So you know what's coming!